Queen Victoria: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

15
THE BRIDEGROOM

'You Tories shall be punished. Revenge! Revenge!'

ON 23 NOVEMBER 1839 the Queen made her Declaration of Marriage at Buckingham Palace before an assembly of Privy Councillors. She appeared before them in a simple dress and wearing a miniature of Prince Albert in a bracelet on her wrist. It was 'rather an awful moment', she confessed; and her hands were so fluttering that she nearly dropped the paper on which the Declaration was written. 1 But, as at her first Council meeting, her voice was clear and true. J. W. Croker, the politician and essayist, thought her 'as interesting and handsome as any young lady' he had ever seen. 2

News of the engagement had already reached Coburg and Gotha where it had been received with great pleasure. In Coburg the sounds of gunfire and pistol shots in the streets could be heard throughout the night; and in Gotha cannon thundered as the Prince, standing in the throne room before the ladies and gentlemen of the Court, was invested with the Order of the Garter by his father, the Duke, and Queen Victoria's half-brother, Prince Charles of Leiningen, both Knights of the Garter themselves. At the subsequent banquet the band of the Coldstream Guards, which had sailed from England for the occasion, played 'God Save the Queen' 3

In England, where the Prince landed at Dover on 7 February after a stormy, five-hour crossing, crowds gathered to cheer him on his way through Kent in the pouring rain, escorted by the Earl of Cardigan's 11th Light Dragoons, henceforth known as the 11th Prince Albert's Own

-111-

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Queen Victoria: A Personal History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Author's Note and Acknowledgements xv
  • Queen Victoria's Prime Ministers xviii
  • Part One - 1819-1861 1
  • 1 - The Family 3
  • 2 - The Parents 9
  • 3 - The Child 17
  • 4 - Conroy 25
  • 5 - Progresses 30
  • 6 - Uncles 41
  • 7 - The Young Queen 53
  • 8 - Melbourne 60
  • 9 - Coronation 70
  • 10 - The Hastings Affair 76
  • II - A Pleasant Life' 85
  • 12 - A Headstrong Girl 90
  • 13 - German Cousins 98
  • 14 - Prince Albert 107
  • 15 - The Bridegroom 111
  • 16 - Honeymoon 120
  • 17 - Robert Peel 130
  • 18 - The Prince and the Household 137
  • 19 - Royal Quarrels 148
  • 20 - Osborne 157
  • 21 - Travelling 165
  • 22 - Balmoral 175
  • 23 - The Prince of Wales 183
  • 24 - Palmerston 193
  • 25 - Chartists 199
  • 26 - Pam is Out 204
  • 27 - The Great Exhibition 210
  • 28 - Scenes 216
  • 29 - Crimean War 221
  • 30 - Napoleon III 230
  • 31 - The Princess Royal 238
  • 32 - Indian Mutiny 248
  • 33 - The German Grandson 256
  • 34 - Death of the Duchess 264
  • 35 - The Disappointing Heir 268
  • 36 - Death of the Prince 276
  • Part Two - 1861-1901 283
  • 37 - The Grieving Widow 285
  • 38 - Seances and Services 293
  • 39 - Princess Alexandra 298
  • 40 - The Recluse 307
  • 41 - Disraeli 314
  • 42 - John Brown 321
  • 43 - The Royalty Question 331
  • 44 - The Princely Pauper 338
  • 45 - Typhoid Fever 342
  • 46 - Maids-Of-Honour 349
  • 47 - Secretaries and Ministers 353
  • 48 - Regina Et Imperatrix 360
  • 49 - The Half-Mad Firebrand 367
  • 50 - Golden Jubilee 379
  • 51 - Die Engländerin 384
  • 52 - The Daughters 391
  • 53 - The Sons 396
  • 54 - The Grand Children 414
  • 55 - Would-Be Assassins 420
  • 56 - Holidays Abroad 428
  • 57 - Death of Brown 440
  • 58 - The Munshi 446
  • 59 - Diamond Jubilee 455
  • 60 - Life at Court 461
  • 61 - Dinner Parties 468
  • 62 - Books 477
  • 63 - Bookmen 481
  • 64 - Failing Health 484
  • 65 - Death 492
  • 66 - Funeral and Burial 495
  • References 503
  • Sources 523
  • Index 535
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